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realclearworld

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops call for lifting of embargo against dictatorship in Cuba

The economic sanctions the U.S. has against the Cuban dictatorship are aimed squarely at the island's totalitarian government and expressly exclude all humanitarian aid such as food and medicine. To my knowledge and understanding, there are no restrictions or limitations to the amount of aid that can be sent to Cuba by charitable organizations in the U.S. as long as there is substantial and verifiable proof it will not benefit the Cuban regime. Therefore, I find it puzzling that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would issue a statement calling for the "complete abolition" of the U.S. "embargo" against the Cuban government based on the dubious claim that it hinders Catholic organizations from providing aid to Cuba's people.

Since there are no restrictions to providing humanitarian aid to the Cuban people, you have to wonder what would prompt the USCCB to issue such a statement. After reading their complete statement, however, I believe the motives become quite obvious.

Via CatholicCulture.org:

US bishops call for ‘complete abolition’ of trade embargo against Cuba

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling upon the Obama administration to lift “the existing embargo concerning Cuba, so that greater support and assistance may be provided to the ordinary citizens of this country.”

“Charitable organizations, including those of the Catholic Church, provide essential and life-preserving services to the most marginalized and impoverished Cubans,” said Bishop Pates, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “The staff members selflessly administering these facilities and senior Cuban Church officials responsible for these programs repeatedly told me that the efficacy of their work was hampered by their inability to obtain products from the United States due to the trade embargo.”

“All restrictions should be systematically examined and eliminated so that the complete abolition of the embargo and its harmful effects can be achieved,” Bishop Pates added. “These burdens are not borne by the members of the Cuban governing elite, but rather by the ‘ordinary’ Cuban and especially by the weakest members of that society. The Catholic Church in our country and in Cuba has long maintained that greater, rather than less, engagement with Cuba can bring about positive change in that country.”

“We hope and pray for prompt and appropriate measures to establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba and to withdraw all restriction on travel to Cuba and to offer greater people-to-people assistance to the Cuban people,” the prelate concluded. “In so doing, we will be supporting the people of Cuba, our neighbors but 90 miles away, in achieving greater freedom, human rights, and religious liberty plus also engaging a trading partner that will benefit American commerce.”

5 comments to U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops call for lifting of embargo against dictatorship in Cuba

  • asombra

    The RCC wants what it wants in Cuba, and it's not getting it for nothing. This is part of the price. A big part. Beyond disgusting.

  • asombra

    But of course this is not political. Purely pastoral. Just like the papal visit. My poor intelligence keeps getting scandalized.

  • There is no "embargo", that is an absolute lie, and like most lies, when repeated often enough, it takes on the authority of truth to the uninformed.

    From 2001 through 2011, US direct sales of food products to Cuba topped $3.5 billion; in 2011, an additional $103K in medical supplies were exported directly to Cuba from the US.

    What Cuba wants is credit, or rather, what US companies want is to be allowed to sell Cuba on credit (right now all transactions are cash), since all sales then would be guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    "The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States federal government. It was established in 1934 by an executive order, and made an independent agency in the Executive branch by Congress in 1945, for the purposes of financing and insuring foreign purchases of United States goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept credit risk." - Wikipedia.

    So, when anyone, from politico to producer, calls for "lifting the embargo on Cuba", what they really want is for access to US taxpayer dollars to guarantee Cuba's purchases, and Cuba ranks 155 out of 173 for credit ratings.

    What countries are a higher credit risk than Cuba?

    East Timor, Haiti, Togo, Guinea, Tajikstan, Chad, Solomon Islands, Entria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somolia, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

  • La Conchita

    I want to see some scintilla of evidence from the Catholic Church that it cares AND has done SOMETHING about the injustices conducted by the Castros on the Cuban people these past 53 years.

  • Rayarena

    “In so doing, we will be supporting the people of Cuba, our neighbors but 90 miles away, in achieving greater freedom, human rights, and religious liberty plus also engaging a trading partner that will benefit American commerce.” --U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

    Of course, little does it matter that the Church could have achieved greater freedom, human rights and religious freedom if the Pope had SIMPLY met with the Ladies in White, defended the dissident who was beaten up before his very eyes and not played into Raul's hand. But as we know, this is not, nor ever was about human rights. The above remark by the USCCB, its a duplicity, hypocrisy and a smokescreen.